Friday, July 9, 2010

Who is my Phone Company????? - you are not going to believe this

Comcast sent me a $191 bill, and then a letter letting me know they were going to raise the rates again -which I decided was way to high,  so I started investigating other providers for the services that Comcast Provides.

The TV part of the spectrum would be provided by one of the satellite companies, but then there is the high speed Internet.

A little background - I live in what I thought was not all that rural of an area. (close to here)  The house is ~10 years old, and I switched to Vonage 5 or so years ago, and dropped my land line altogether. I used to have a DSL line before I went Cable.

I called Century Link, whom Dish Network uses to provide their Internet Connection. After quite a while on the phone with a very helpful representative it was determined that he can not provide DSL (or voice) to my address, and they were very sorry, and they did not know who did.

I called the FCC - very helpfully they refereed me to the PUC of Pennsylvania. The  best the PUC could do was snail mail me a list of  "providers".   Seems that some communications act allowed anybody to say they were in the phone business and to bill you for the privilege, most of these people probably are nothing more than just a phone number and a billing program..  No Luck.

The PUC suggested that I call my local Municipal Building. The helpful person at the Littlestown Town Hall didn't have an exact name - but she shared that "Almost everyone around here uses Century link."

Talk about running around in circles. 

Think about it - Hundreds of Thousands of tons of copper pairs strung all over the country, seemingly not used by anybody anymore!

I feel like a dinosaur - my first Job out of college was with Cincinnati Bell, planning how many people would need phone service 5, 10, and 15 years in the future. Seems that 40 years down the line, no one does.

Now almost anybody under 30 has only a cell phone number.  Only old folks like me even consider a wired land line. Makes me want to build a very large hobby rocket and put up my own satellite, and give away phone service....

P.S.  The next day I was perusing the Century Link site and stumbled across a slide in some presentation with the Vice President in charge of PA sales, along with his phone number.  So I called him.  He apologized profusely and indicated that indeed Century Link was my phone company and he would set it right.  The next day a very helpful person called me....  WOW - never hurts to start at the top and work down.....